FAIRFIELD — When it comes to high school baseball in the city, these are mostly tough times.
With a 11-3 overall record, Vanden has more wins that Armijo, Fairfield and Rodriguez – combined. Even in the first week of home-and-home series with league rivals, there are plenty of bright spots all around. Here’s a look at each of the city teams:
Even with just four starters returning, none of whom are seniors, the Vikings are off a good start.
“I consider ourselves a team that has some depth in positions that forces competition,” Vanden coach Ryan Adams said. “We have several underclassmen, but we want them to not use that as an excuse for lack of performance. With the exception of the Benicia game (a 10-0 loss), we have been in every game and we compete for seven innings.”
Back for the Vikings are the Lara brothers, sophomore third baseman Alejandro and junior pitcher/first baseman Lorenzo, as well as sophomore center fielder Eno Evans and junior pitcher Rylan Haney.
Other starters include sophomore Peter Torres at Catcher, senior Devin Cook-Oliver at first base, junior Eric Robles at second base, junior Pablo Rodriguez at shortstop, junior Casey Ledford in left field and junior Jared Vitug in right.
Joining Haney and Lorenzo Lara as starting pitchers are sophomore Robert Hutting and freshman Jake LaGrand.
“This year’s team has come together and made great strides,” Adams said. “The great thing about this team is that it seems every game it is somewhat different who chips in to victory. We have had great individual starts by Alejandro Lara, Eno Evans, Eric Robles, and our pitchers Haney and Hutting.”
Where Vanden is dominated by underclassmen, the majority of starters for first-year Armijo coach Mo Terrell are seniors.
Among returning starters that includes pitcher/infielder David Hostler, catcher/pitcher Chris Parodi, first baseman Hayden Del Dotto, third baseman/pitcher Garlind Webster and right fielder Kyle Elledge.
Also back as starters are junior shortstop Jason Brasile and sophomore catcher/third baseman Clayton Espino.
Other starters for the Indians (5-6) include senior left fielder/pitcher Chris Bruner, senior second baseman Jared Borunda, sophomore center fielder Antonio Ramirez and junior third baseman Alex Peppard.
Armijo is also looking for contributions from senior pitchers Eric VanDegrift and Eddie Peralta, senior outfielders Jacob Maher and Max Trujillo, junior outfielder A.J. Scott, junior pitcher/outfielder Cameron Remington, junior left-handed pitcher Braden Remington, junior catcher/first baseman Jason Kino and junior second baseman Trent Baker.
Four of Armijo’s losses have been by one run with each of those coming in the sixth inning or later. Terrell sees pitching and defense as the strength of the team and has basic goals for the season.
“The goal for the team is to consistently play solid baseball,” he said. “Our foundation has been laid with hard work and dedication by the team.”
The Mustangs (3-9) return seven starters, six of whom are seniors, but poor hitting combined with so-so pitching and a leaky defense have hurt the cause, though Wednesday’s 4-1 over Vacaville was huge.
“We have had a rough year thus far in terms of wins and losses,” said Rodriguez coach Jason Chatham said, whose team is two years removed from winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title. “We haven’t been hitting, we’ve been making 4-5 errors a game and our pitching has been inconsistent. We’ve been getting in our own way so far this year, which is uncharacteristic of this program.”
Back for Rodriguez seniors Anthony Kaleczyc, Richard Lindsey, and Dante Golden in the outfield, Albert Jakubiszen at second base, Richie Straub at third base and Ray Villegas at pitcher, and Nate Minster at shortstop.
Other starters include sophomores Davis Delorefice at second base/shortstop and Cory Peacock as pitcher/infielder and juniors Matthew Lanza at first base and JP San Antonio at catcher.
Among those expected to make contributions are senior pitcher Paul Campise, junior pitcher Connor Lango, junior infielder Andruw Shaw, junior pitcher/outfielder Davy Rassmusson and sophomore catcher/outfielder Carter Bins.
“This year we are going back-to-basics and focusing on the little things,” Chatham said. “We have a mature, dedicated group of players and parents that want the best for the team and it’s refreshing to see. We know that if we stay the course, if we don’t panic, and we trust in what we are doing then we will find success on the field.”
Under first-year coach Willie Bible, dad of two former Falcons, Fairfield (0-7) is in a rebuilding year.
The Falcons have three seniors among their four returning starters in center fielder Demoriaye Hart-Spikes, pitcher/third baseman John Henry Jones and pitcher Dylan Beatty, to go with sophomore pitcher/corner infielder Anthony Canavesio.
Other starters for the young Falcons are junior pitcher/first baseman Stevie Arias, junior catcher Derek Ewing, sophomore right fielder Damien Gustafson, sophomore second baseman Lavonte Howard and freshman pitcher/left fielder Robert Meadows II.
Bible is also looking for contributions from senior outfielder Jason Kirk, junior pitcher/catcher/third baseman Chris Harris, junior catcher/first baseman David Travers and freshman pitcher/first baseman Junior Ortega.
“My boys have a lot of perseverance and a good mental attitude,” Bible said. “My goal is to constantly keep striving to improve our program one player at a time.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.